Do the Right Things  

There comes a time for parents to look around and take stock of what’s important. While you try to teach the kids about being charitable, sometimes it seems (almost overnight) that your child is surrounded by extravagant birthday parties and exposure to so much stuff that it results in a whole new ‘tude that some would call a bad case of the “gimmees.”  Might be time to foster some awareness of how important helping others can be.
Local mom of three Rachael Podolsky wished there was one place parents could go to locate volunteer opportunities for kids, so she founded the recently-launched kidServe Seattle website as a way to connect kids, ages 5 to 12, with age-appropriate volunteer experiences in the Greater Seattle area.
For families striving to make volunteering “a way of life”, kidServe Seattle couldn’t make it any easier. With just a click on their calendar you can find listings for volunteer opportunities including all the details (age-range, time, location etc) and an online sign-up form. Generally, the volunteer opportunities fall into one of five categories: Animals, Arts, Social Outreach, Environmental Causes, and Health and Wellness. Packing and sorting at the food bank, compiling birthday gift packages for children in need, or getting outdoors to plant along the Cedar River Watershed are few of of the current needs listed on the site, with new experiences being added every day. Once the word gets out, Podolsky anticipates a diverse selection of local volunteer opportunities that can be performed as a family or even as project with classmates, sports teams, or scout troops. Get out there and serve up a helping of goodwill via kidServe!
PS: Share with us the ways you promote volunteerism in your home! Even very young kids can get involved by bringing cookies to the police and fire stations, volunteer to clean up a local park or beach, or make cards for kids at the hospital.  Leave us a comment below!
-Angie J. Ballas